Blackstrap molasses is a healthy alternative to regular sugar as it retains most of the nutrients and also the nutrients are more concentrated. When I was younger, every year we used to get a bottle of unsulphured molasses from our family friend’s small jaggery-producing unit. We call it Themba in Tamil, I love it a lot and we usually have it along with traditional Indian pancakes like Bajra Dosa, Ragi Dosa, etc. It is such a delicacy and in my humble opinion, no fast food can match a ragi dosa and themba combination.
Themba tastes very sweet and is usually the syrup got during the final stage of making jaggery. Though themba is very nutritious, it is rarely sold in the markets. But now we get a type of molasses in the market called blackstrap molasses that retains all the nutrients. Blackstrap molasses is called Sheera Ya Raab in Hindi (not 100 % sure of the name).
Blackstrap Molasses Vs Molasses:
Blackstrap molasses is different from our traditional molasses in two different ways. The first is it has a slightly bitter-sweet taste as the sugar crystals are removed from it. The second difference is the black strap molasses is produced after the final third stage of boiling which results in a black sticky liquid that has all the nutrients in concentrated form. In short, traditional molasses syrups we use in India are sweet as the sugar crystals are not removed whereas in blackstrap molasses maximum extraction of sugar crystals takes place and the nutrients are also more concentrated.
Blackstrap Molasses Nutrition:
100 grams of blackstrap molasses contains around 235 calories. There is no fat or protein in it and it contains mainly carbohydrates. It is rich in vitamin B6, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and selenium! Since it is low in sugar and has a high dose of nutrients, it is worth our time to get to know it fully.
How Is Blackstrap Molasses Made?
For making our regular white sugar, sugarcane juice is boiled down which results in the formation of sugar crystals which are then separated, refined, and bleached to get pure white crystals. The sugarcane syrup is boiled three times to extract the sugar crystals completely. The leftover syrup after the third boiling is black, sticky, and bitter-sweet as the sugar crystals are removed and are concentrated both in flavor and in nutrients.
Where To Buy Blackstrap Molasses?
As the benefits of blackstrap molasses are getting known widely, it is bottled and sold all over the world. Always try to buy only organic unsulphured black strap molasses for the best results. Since blackstrap molasses is not common here in India, I could not find the names for it in Indian languages and it usually goes by the same name in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, etc. Though here in India we don’t use blackstrap molasses much, it is a good idea we get to know about it and use it too.
Blackstrap Molasses Side Effects:
Though blackstrap molasses is rich in nutrients it still has about 11 grams of sugar per tablespoon so it should not be over-consumed. Diabetic patients should consider blackstrap molasses just like regular sugar and practice caution while consuming it.
How To Consume Blackstrap Molasses?
It can be mixed with water and had as a drink, it can also be added to desserts and baking. Start with 1 to 2 teaspoons and slowly increase to 1 tbsp once it agrees with your body…
10 Top Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Of Blackstrap Molasses For Hair, Skin & Health:
1. For Hair Growth & Grey Hair:
There is a reason blackstrap molasses is highly recommended for hair growth, if you look a the nutritive value of blackstrap molasses you will find that it is rich in calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and copper which are vital ingredients for preventing hair loss & greying. But please remember blackstrap molasses is like any other health food and it has to be taken for a long duration to see results.
2. For Dry Hair:
Blackstrap molasses when used externally is very good for treating dry hair and is an amazing hair conditioner. For making the hair mask, simply blend one ripe avocado with black strap molasses. Apply this hair mask all over the hair and scalp, and wait for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
3. For Anemia:
Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron which makes it very valuable for people who are suffering from anemia. Instead of white sugar which is devoid of any nutrients try substituting it with blackstrap molasses.
4. For Bone Health:
Blackstrap molasses is great for people who are suffering from low bone density as it is rich in both calcium and magnesium. 1 tbsp of blackstrap molasses contains about 20 % of the daily calcium requirement! Try incorporating blackstrap molasses in day to day diet often if you are suffering from low bone density.
5. For Constipation:
Blackstrap molasses also acts as a natural laxative which is due to the significant magnesium content in it. Blackstrap molasses is a wonderful natural alternative to laxative medicines.
6. For Weight Loss:
Due to its high nutrient value, blackstrap molasses can be added successfully to weight loss diets in moderation in place of regular sugar which contains empty calories. But please do remember that a tbsp of blackstrap molasses contains about 42 calories so use it in moderation.
7. For Skincare:
Blackstrap molasses is great both when taken internally and applied externally. Blackstrap molasses is very healing when applied topically, you can add it just like honey to any facial mask. You can also slather it on just like that but it’s quite messy so don’t wear your favorite clothes while using blackstrap molasses externally.
8. For Women:
Due to its high mineral and iron content blackstrap molasses is a real boon to women. Since it is rich in minerals like copper, manganese, selenium, and potassium, it helps reduce stress and helps with PCOS and anemia which affects many women nowadays.
9. For Joint Pain:
Blackstrap molasses has been used as a remedy for joint pain in many countries. It works because of its high nutrient content which helps preserve bone strength. For joint pain, you can take blackstrap molasses along with turmeric tea, it will work beautifully for treating joint pain and inflammation.
10. For Diabetes:
Though blackstrap molasses is a wonderful alternative to regular sugar and has a moderate GI of about 55, it still has about 11 grams of sugar per tablespoon. It also does not have any fiber so please be careful while taking blackstrap molasses if you are a diabetic patient.